Review: Food Wars Vol. 1

I love books that revolve around food, and this manga – Food Wars – definitely checked all of my boxes.

Cooking, competitiveness, witty banter – check, check, check.

I picked this up mainly because of the cover, but the story definitely did not disappoint. I am looking forward to reading volume 2!

Review: Polar Bear in Love

The manga, Polar Bear in Love, has such a cute cover that I couldn’t resist picking it up. This was a cute story about how two unlikely animals fall in love with each other.

Mr. Polar Bear falls in love with Little Seal – who should be Mr. Polar Bear’s next meal, not his love interest. Little Seal is very worried and nervous, but eventually realizes that Mr. Polar Bear isn’t going to hurt him and they become friends.

This manga is rated for everyone, but definitely geared towards younger readers. There is definitely an overtone of not judging people based on stereotypes.

Review: Black Butler Vol. 1

My niece recommended Black Butler to me, as it is one of her favorite manga series. I borrowed volume one from her library to try out the series before jumping in head first on a (VERY, VERY LONG) series.

I struggled with the first section in this manga – I wasn’t sure what was going on, who was who, and why they were where they were. But about half way through, all the pieces seemed to fall into place.

For a graphic novel like this, when half of the book doesn’t make sense, it’s really difficult for me to push on. Because it is one of my niece’s favorites, I persevered and I am glad I did. The story is actually pretty unique and I suspect, will prove to be an exciting series to continue reading.

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Synopsis (from Goodreads)

In the Victorian ages of London The Earl of the Phantomhive house, Ciel Phantomhive, needs to get his revenge on those who had humiliated him and destroyed what he loved. Not being able to do it alone he sells his soul to a demon he names Sebastian Michaelis. Now working as his butler, Sebastian must help the Earl Phantomhive in this suspenseful, exciting, thriller manga.

Review: My Cat Loki (Vol. 1)

I absolutely picked up the manga My Cat Loki because of the kitty on the cover and the name of the kitty (Loki). I read this quickly while relaxing in the 2022 Otakon Manga Library.

The kitty was such a fun character and this was the perfect way to set up the rest of the series.

There was the allusions to unrequited feelings between the two human characters.

Maybe it’s just me, but there was some anthropomorphizing of Loki – and the MC’s previous kitty – as a child. I had a difficult time getting into this, to be honest, but it didn’t deflect from my enjoyment of the rest of the story.

Review: Dramacon

I was supposed to go to Otakon this summer with my anime-loving niece. But with COVID putting the brakes on all plans, we had to cancel out trip. I’ve been to book conventions before, but never an anime convention…and Otakon is one of the top 10 largest in the US.

But, finding Dramacon felt like I at least was able to attend an anime convention between the pages. Dramacon followed Chriss, who is a vendor in Artist Alley with her independent manga over three years at the Yatta Anime Convention.

Chriss and her friends deal with toxic relationships, cheating, familial expectations, and following your dreams. This was an enjoyable read – and full of high school romance and drama.

I definitely loved Chriss and Matt’s dynamic. They definitely had some of the best lines. Like…

Chriss: “Ah, yes, tact.  Tell me you’ve at least heard of it.”

Matt: “In passing. A most foreign concept if you ask me.”

This omnibus collection has been released to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the publication of Dramacon Vol. 1.  Thank you to TokyoPop, author Svetlana Chmakova, and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Fruits Basket Another

I was so excited to see a new Fruits Basket story and new Sohmas! This was such an enjoyable read. Sawa Mitoma is a shy, apologetic girl at a new school who is taken under the wings of the Sohma family. She might be the perfect female lead for the “teen” manga – she has a lot of growth capabilities and, while incredibly quiet, the students in her new school help to both coax her out of her shell.⠀

The new series is perfect for new readers to the series as well as well as those of us who read the original Fruits Basket series and are coming back to the Sohma family.⠀